TEFAF launching a high-end art fair in mainland China next year.

Books, Maps & Manuscripts

After another successful fair in Maastricht, TEFAF have announced that they are in discussions with Sotheby’s about the possibility of launching a high-end art fair in mainland China next year.

Although details of location and exact date have yet to be announced, they hope the first TEFAF Beijing, organised via Sotheby's Joint Venture and the state-owned Beijing GeHua Art Company, will be the first such Western-organised fair in mainland China as opposed to Hong Kong.

It would also be a first as a collaboration between an art fair and an auction house, more often seen as rivals rather than colleagues.

The announcement follows the news in September 2012 that Sotheby's had signed a ten-year joint agreement with GeHua Art Company, part of the media conglomerate GeHua Cultural and Development Group, to become the first international auction house in China - previously they had held auctions in Hong Kong but were prohibited from holding auctions in mainland China unless they had a Chinese partner.

While Sotheby's have clearly invested heavily in Asia, TEFAF have also made no secret of their desire to court the Chinese market. In September 2011, a team of TEFAF representatives visited China, organising a press conference and cocktail reception for Chinese collectors at the Dutch ambassador's residence in Beijing and a second event in Shanghai, to encourage more buyers from mainland China to visit the Maastricht fair.

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